Samara Joy is on top of the world. Her album, Linger Awhile, was a critical and commercial success and earned her two Grammy awards. One of those awards was for Best New Artist, which meant the judges heard something in her voice that elevated her above singers that had greater name recognition.
Anybody who listened to Linger Awhile or saw her haunting YouTube duet with guitarist Pasquale Grasso on “Solitude” knows what the Grammy committee heard. Her voice is sweetly distinctive, and her phrasing is youthful and classic. In terms of range, Joy kind of reminds me of Sarah Vaughan.
So, I am not surprised that Samara Joy went into the studio and cut a Christmas album. That EP, titled A Joyful Holiday will be released on Oct. 27, but her record label, Verve, is giving fans a sneak preview of Joy’s swinging and intimate take on the holiday standard “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”
This is one of my favorite Christmas songs because it’s about celebrating this most important holiday with those who are most important to you. Joy shines on this rendition. It places her in an arrangement where her phrasing and swing can shine – a small combo featuring guitar, drum and piano. Check it out here.
By Howard Dukes
“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”